March 23, 2017

Doc Rivers: 'Not Cool' for Cavs to Rest Stars

20 March 2017, 11:40 | Joan Schultz

Tristan Thompson and Deron Williams scored 11 points each, while Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and J.R. Smith scored 10 points apiece, as Cleveland shot 38.8 per cent and a season-worst 18.5 per cent from three-point range. The game was the second in as many nights for the Warriors and their eighth in eight cities in a 13-day stretch.

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin received a phone call from the National Basketball Association league office, who weren't happy with the team's judgment call, about seven minutes after the organization announced they were sitting James, Irving, and Love.

The situation is reaching a fever pitch, particularly because in the past two weeks nationally televised games have been basically ruined by teams resting their star players. "We've got a responsibility to our fans over the last 15 games to start to find our way a little bit". Sometimes you have to understand it is not a show, but a competition. Jordan Clarkson added 19 points and Brandon Ingram pitched in with 18 for a Lakers team that dropped its 50th game on Sunday night. So, don't sweat it too much if LeBron and company play a lot of minutes. All five Lakers starters scored in double figures for the first time since Christmas. It's understandable that the Cavs might want to give him a day off, but they're also playing him 37.6 minutes per game, second only to the Raptors' Kyle Lowry.

Pau Gasol had 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench in the Spurs' win.

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After falling behind in the first half and trailing 94-83 early in the fourth quarter, Cleveland finally got rolling behind Irving, who hit six 3-pointers.

As for the concerns of broadcast partners, they make a lot of their value back come the playoffs, when guys are not rested.

But it does create problems for an entertainment product when the best players are not performing. Coach Luke Walton said he simply wanted to experiment with different lineups, and Russell insisted he didn't mind. Cleveland's lead over Washington would also jump to four games. And Richard Jefferson was a ideal 3-of-3 in the fourth quarter, finishing with seven big points in the Wine and Gold's late charge.

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